Showcase Projects

Enatai Elementary

Location: Bellevue, WA

Bellevue School District Modernization Plan

Enatai Project StatsStarting in 2002, the Bellevue School District (BSD) began replacing and updating schools that no longer met the needs of their growing community. BSD’s goal with each new school is to exceed energy design requirements as defined by the 2012 International Energy Code. As of 2018, BSD has replaced 18 schools with state of the art facilities that incorporate the latest educational designs and technology to ensure students and teachers have an ideal learning environment. By making each new school as energy efficient as possible, BSD is ensuring they are maximizing their capital dollars which will allow them to make the best use of their general funds. In 2015, as part of the ongoing modernization projects, Enatai Elementary was demolished to make way for an updated facility that will host elementary students well into the future.

Unified Lighting and HVAC Control

BSD is determined to improve upon school designs with each facility replacement. When planning for the new Enatai, BSD decided their next improvement would be to house as many of their controlled systems under one platform as possible. Having worked with ATS Automation for many years, BSD was familiar with the environmental controls provided by the Alerton building management system (BMS) from their other schools. Once ATS demonstrated that they could efficiently control the HVAC equipment and also incorporate all the lighting into the same BMS, BSD chose ATS to provide the HVAC and lighting controls for the Enatai facility. By selecting one vendor, staff at Enatai have access to ATS’ expertise for both HVAC and lighting during the original installation and for long-term service. Now Enatai has one point of contact when it comes to the controls for their school — simplifying maintenance and operations.

To integrate HVAC and lighting, ATS designed a system utilizing Alerton’s Compass BMS and Blue Ridge Technologies’ (BRT) lighting control platform. Alerton and BRT combined provide integrated lighting control without the use of proprietary gateways. Utilizing BACnet, BRT controllers are easily added to the Alerton BMS without needing any integration device. This solution allows BSD operators to use the same schedules for both HVAC equipment and lighting without the need to duplicate work in a separate lighting interface.  ATS programmed a global schedule for lighting at Enatai in conjunction with BRT monitoring classrooms and common areas using occupancy sensors and photo cells. The sensors are used for daylight harvesting and turnoff or dim lighting according to lumen levels and whether the area is occupied or not. Classroom lighting control features a traditional on/off switch in the front of all classrooms, as well as a separate adjustment panel near the teachers’ desks.

Impact on Energy & Operations

By combining environmental and lighting controls, BSD has ensured that their high efficiency designs and equipment will continue to save the school money throughout the life of the building. “The strategy is that on day one the facility is already saving on utility bills,” said Jeff Tweeten, HVAC/Utilities Control Specialist for the Bellevue School District, “by saving on day one, the measured benefits are all about the efficiencies that directly impact the learning environment.” With integrated lighting, Jeff and his team can focus on what really matters  — ensuring the learning environment is optimal for both students and teachers.

The new Enatai Elementary nearly doubled the size of the original school to 87,500 square feet. The school opened to the public in September of 2016 with over 500 students attending class during the academic year. The school also received $135,013 in utility incentives by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) for exceeding local energy code efficiency requirements and standard practices during construction.

In addition to lighting and environmental controls, the new Enatai elementary school features other energy efficient technology, such as geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels, heat recovery, AstroTurf, solar hot water loop and high efficiency sequences for mechanical equipment. Utilizing solar panels, Enatai recovers approximately 90,000 kWh per year. This harvested energy covers the majority of the school’s lighting cost for the year. Enatai’s energy use index (EUI) was also significantly improved from the previous facility. The school’s combined electric and natural gas EUI is currently 17 and is expected to decrease as system tuning continues. The national median source EUI for K-12 schools is 141. ATS, along with Alerton and BRT, help Enatai maintain optimal performance with rock solid building controls and sequences, along with occupancy-based lighting usage and daylight harvesting.

For additional details read the entire case study detailing the work performed at Enatai Elementary.

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Wenatchee Data Center

Location: Wenatchee, WA

Eastridge Case Study SavingsCooling the Data Center

Located in central Washington state, Wenatchee is known for its apples, wide-open spaces, and its abundance of activities for outdoor recreation. The area is also well suited for locating mission critical data centers. The vast open landscapes, mild dry climate, and low power rate from hydropower attract many high-tech firms needing to locate off-site data centers. The mild climate allows for “free cooling” by utilizing air-side economizers to cool the data center with outside air instead of mechanical cooling for much of the year. However, this “free cooling” only works when data center sequences and safeguards allow the equipment to utilize it.

Facility staff at an international communication company’s Wenatchee data center realized they were not taking advantage of “free cooling” strategies once they began reviewing data from the ATS facilityCARE ongoing commissioning and advanced analytics service.

ATS installed the control system at the data center in 2008 utilizing the sequences specified during construction. The original sequences focused on loading the plant and letting it run, which resulted in chillers operating more hours than needed. In addition, over time, system modifications and one-off changes created conflicting overrides of the economizers. As a result, the economizers were not open during times with optimal “free cooling” conditions. The facility was not fully utilizing outside air for cooling, resulting in increased utility cost and unneeded equipment runtime.

Free Cooling Enabled

In 2015 ATS implemented facilityCARE, an ongoing commissioning and advanced analytics service to track equipment usage and highlight opportunities for operational improvement at the data center. SkySpark ( is used in the ongoing ATS facilityCARE service that includes monthly reviews and analysis by ATS engineers. As part of a facilityCARE review, ATS verified what facility operators had long suspected — the economizers were not functioning optimally. Using historical site data, ATS developed an estimate of savings based on the requirement that the facility use outside air for cooling when available. With data to back up the proposed changes, ATS was contracted to implement an energy conservation measure (ECM) to modify the economizer sequences so they function when outside air conditions are optimal for cooling. Without the facilityCARE service, this issue may have gone unaddressed since the plant appeared to be operating smoothly, experiencing no temperature issues and the facility engineers were focused on more immediate concerns.

Air-Side Economizer Savings

ATS implemented the updated economizer sequences in the fall of 2017. Now that the sequences are in place the data center has seen impressive savings over the first two months of operation. Over December 2017 and January 2018, the data center saw $22,500 in avoided cost for their data halls. Utilizing a baseline for comparison, the data center is expected to see a 24% reduction or 5.2 million kWh usage drop. The facility is also expected to save $137,000 in avoided utility cost over the first year of operations.

Data Center SavingsFor additional details read the entire case study detailing the work performed at the Wenatchee Data Center.

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Eastridge Corporate Center Case Study

Eastridge Corporate Center – Energy Saving Project

Client: The Morelli Family, LLC
Location: Bellevue, WA

Eastridge Case Study SavingsGaining Control of the Campus

Eastridge Corporate Center (ECC) in Bellevue, WA is owned and operated by The Morelli Familiy, LLC, and consists of two buildings with a combined square footage of 87,500. Constructed in 1982, the campus was primarily controlled by the original pneumatic system which was long past its end of life. Building staff was constantly adjusting the system trying to keep tenants happy. The two buildings were eventually forced to run 24/7 just to maintain tenant satisfaction.

Wanting to improve building performance, the owner contacted ATS to discuss maximizing their systems. The campus was experiencing numerous issues including: failing VAV boxes, faulty pneumatic controls, poor air quality and inconsistent temperatures.

ATS provided ECC with options to address the maintenance and comfort issues at the campus. There were two possible paths: a comprehensive systems replacement or piece-meal repairs. Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) Major HVAC Controls Upgrade program provided incentives of up to 50% for the comprehensive system replacement. ATS guaranteed the incentives up-front and provided financing for the retrofit. The financing and incentives allowed the owner to modernize immediately rather than wait for a significant system failure. With guaranteed incentives and financing, capital was freed up for ECC to also perform a concurrent lighting retrofit.


ECC has seen savings of 40% in total campus energy usage (667,000 kWh over 12 months) for the two ECC buildings combined. In addition, there was an avoided cost of $73,501 in utility spend over 12 months. As part of the financing agreement, ECC added an ongoing Support Agreement with ATS to ensure improvements in building operations are maintained into the future, further guaranteeing their investment and future savings. Tenant complaint calls have been significantly reduced now that ECC has greater visibility and control of their campus and an improved ability to solve issues in a timely and proactive manner.

For additional details read the entire case study detailing the work performed at the Eastridge Corporate Center.

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Eastridge Corporate Center Case Study

Sunset Corporate Campus

Client: Sunset Corporate Center
Location: Bellevue, WA

The ATS Energy Group took advantage of Puget Sound Energy’s Major HVAC Controls Upgrade incentive program to retrofit AHU and VAV terminal units to Alerton’s BACnet line of Visual Logic Controllers and implement high-performance VAV sequences. The retrofit and sequence modifications resulted in an average reduction of 28% in total building energy usage for Sunset Corporate Campus Building #2.

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Sunset Case Study

Block 44 | Advanced Fault Detection & Analytics

Client: CBRE
Location: Seattle, WA

Block 44, located in Seattle’s South Lake Union technology hub, is managed and operated by CBRE. Completed in 2014, Block 44 is a 395,000 ft² Class A, LEED Platinum certified office building. Even though Block 44 is a new building, setpoint and sequence modifications, manual system overrides, tenant activity, deferred maintenance, and space-use changes can lead to operational drift within the building automation system (BAS) and ultimately inefficient building performance. Wanting to ensure “like-new” building operation was maintained at the facility, CBRE turned to ATS for solutions.

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Bainbridge High School

Client: Bainbridge Island School District
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA

By having ATS install and integrate new boiler control into the existing Alerton building automation system, Bainbridge High School reestablished control over their boiler plant while leveraging their existing control system and extensive control knowledge of ATS engineers.

The boiler control project was completed over the summer of 2014. When comparing the high school’s utility cost from 2014 to that of 2015 there was a 36% decrease in spend. This decrease was equivalent to $267,540 in utility savings that was put back into the District’s general fund. In addition to reduced spending, equipment runtime decreased by 42% when comparing the winter months of 2014 to 2015.

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Renton High School

Client: Renton School District
Location: Renton, WA

Located in downtown Renton, WA, the historic Renton High School (RHS) was originally built in 1911. The initial building was later demolished to make room for an updated school with improvements and additional space for the increasing population of the area. Over its 105-year history the high school has been rebuilt and expanded upon many times. The latest improvements began in 2013 with a complete controls retrofit of the RHS Campus, including the entire mechanical system.

A Direct Digital Control (DDC) system was originally installed at RHS in 2000, and then updated in 2010. The District was never completely satisfied with the operation of the system or the support they received from the original installer. Within three months of operation the District switched to manual boiler control due to ongoing issues with the boiler control interface. Although it was being controlled manually, the staff knew the boiler and the rest of the school was operating inefficiently. In order to address the issue, the District, working with a local energy service company (ESCO), approached ATS to perform a complete DDC retrofit at the RHS.

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1111 3rd Ave

Client: 1111 3rd Avenue
Location: Seattle, WA

With 34 Stories and more than 580, 000 square feet, 1111 Third Avenue is an icon of the Seattle Skyline. This high profile building also had a high energy profile. The building owner and property manager partnered with ATS as their energy services professional to increase building efficiency. ATS developed a three-year energy conservation plan inclusive of capital efficiency projects and operational optimization measures.

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Hyatt Hotel and Olive 8 Residences

Client: R.C. Hedreen Company
Location: Seattle, WA
Architect: Mulvanny G2 Architecture, Gluckman Mayner Architects
General Contractor: Skanska Construction
Mechanical Contractor: McKinstry, Inc.

This mixed use project consists of 39 total floors including 22 floors of residential units, a full scale luxury spa /gym with pool and a 17 story Hyatt hotel and parking garage. ATS installed Alerton controls in all common areas and for the central plant, AHUS and garage units.

Central Washington University

Client: CWU
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Architect: Integrus
General Contractor: Lydig
Mechanical Contractor: Apollo

ATS has installed Alerton controls and Phoenix Air Valves throughout the campus over the past 20 years.

CWU depends upon their Alerton BACnet system to keep the nearly 11, 000 students safe and comfortable while maintaining building efficiency. The campus is located on 380 acres in Ellensburg, WA. We are currently working on their new Science Building which is due to open in 2015.